Graduate market is buoyant but candidates still lack skills, says AGR

Graduate market is buoyant but candidates still lack skills, says AGR


Many graduate recruiters are struggling to fill roles, with two-thirds of organisations reporting unfilled vacancies and employers citing an average of 45 unfilled roles for 2015, according to research carried out by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

The AGR’s research highlighted vacancies across all sectors, with the highest percentages of unfilled roles in accountancy (27%), IT (26%), electrical / electronic engineering (20%) and financial management (18%). AGR members reported vacancies nationwide, and urged graduates to think about opportunities outside of London and the south east of England.

The findings follow the AGR’s 2015 Winter Survey, which predicted a 12% increase in graduate vacancies on last year. The most commonly cited reason for having unfilled vacancies this year is a buoyant graduate market, with 58% of employers experiencing an increase in hiring targets. However, the research also pointed to the continued impact of skills gaps, with 31% of employers saying candidates lack specific skills.

According to the AGR, organisations need to fill their vacancies to support growth plans. Complex work permit rules are not helping, as many employers also want to recruit international students that have studied in the UK.

Stephen Isherwood, AGR chief executive, said: “The job market for graduates is buoyant. Many employers are still recruiting for training schemes that will start this year. But students shouldn’t be complacent.

“Our AGR members have said that many candidates’ applications are not thought through. Employers are looking for a combination of skills, knowledge and attitude. Show why you want to work for the company and take the time to complete your application thoroughly – spelling mistakes don’t help.”

AGR’s Graduate Recruitment Survey 2015 is due for publication in September.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

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